As EU elections near, migrants surge again at Poland-Belarus border

A Somali woman pushes her bandaged hand between two vertical bars of a thick metal barrier separating Belarus from Poland as she and four other women gaze toward the European Union.

They nod gratefully as a Polish humanitarian aid worker calls to them across a stretch of land as wide as a one-lane road and promises to help. Polish soldiers patrol nearby.

The verdant patch of Bialowieza Forest that spans the border is among the flashpoints of a months-long standoff between Belarus and its main backer and ally Russia, and the 27-member European bloc, which has seen a surge in migrant flows toward the frontier ahead of EU parliamentary elections that start on June 6.

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